The Formation and Intention of the Haggai-Zechariah Corpus
AbstractBecause of the similar dating system in the books of Haggai and Zechariah, since the end of the 19th century it has been proposed that these two books once formed an independent collection: the Haggai-Zechariah corpus. But neither the formation nor the intention of this corpus has been adequately explained. This article shows that only the book of Zechariah underwent redaction in the course of the composition of this “Book of the Two.” This position stands in contrast with the common assumption that both books underwent redaction in the process. Then the article shows that the Haggai-Zechariah corpus can be understood as a reaction to the decreasing hope for divine salvation in the fifth century. In the light of, and despite the negative experiences that characterize this period, the Haggai-Zechariah corpus adheres to the promises of the early pre-exilic prophecy. But in order to adhere to these promises, the conditions for their fulfillment had to be (re)defined.